10-15-2012 Humpbacks, Rissos Dolphins and, finally, Pacific White Sided Dolphins

Today the treat was a visit by some playful Pacific White Sided Dolphins. I am especially fond of this species of dolphin, as I had the rare opportunity to work with four of them at Long Marine Lab years ago. They are so acrobatic and streamlined. It is a marvel to watch them zip around the boat and ride the bow and wake. Today we had a nice group bow riding for a nice long while and then we had two that just followed us around and provided entertainment while we waited for the whales to surface. It’s nice to have dolphins about while we are in the “whale waiting” mode. Today both sets of humpbacks we found were long divers, so there was plenty of the waiting time. We did get nice close looks of the whales. The last one was clearly sleeping as it remained stationary at the surface while taking at least a dozen breathes before tossing its tail flukes for a dive.

We had an eleven year old budding marine biologist aboard today who came up with so many good questions, it really kept us on our toes and kept the dialogue interesting for all. We love fielding questions and pondering the mysteries of how all these incredible animals have developed such cool strategies for successful ocean living. It is especially rewarding to see young people so enthralled by their observations aboard Sanctuary.

Conditions remain very nice out there. We are having some morning fog, but it burns off and the seas remain calm and whales are still here!

About Michael Sack

Boat Captain, Monterey Bay marine life naturalist and guide. Photographer and Videographer.
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